Bronson, Betty (1906–1971)

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Bronson, Betty (1906–1971)

American film actress. Born Elizabeth Ada Bronson in Trenton, New Jersey, on November 17, 1906; died in 1971; attended Catholic schools in California, where the family moved when she was three; married Ludwig Lauerhaus (a bond specialist), 1932; children: one son.

Selected films:

Peter Pan (1924); The Golden Princess (1925); Are Parents People? (1925); A Kiss for Cinderella (1926); Everybody's Acting (1927); Brass Knuckles (1927); Ritzy (1927); The Singing Fool (1928); Companionate Marriage (1928); Sonny Boy (1929); The Locked Door (1929); Medicine Man (1930); The Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge (1937); Who's Got the Action? (1962); Blackbeard's Ghost (1967); Evel Knievel (1971).

After only a few bit parts, Betty Bronson became an overnight star when Sir James M. Barrie cast her in the title role of the first film version of his play Peter Pan (1924). Barrie, who was searching for someone not immediately recognizable for the role, chose Bronson over some of the major stars of her day. With Bronson's overwhelming triumph, Paramount envisioned her as a successor to Mary Pickford , but she was never able to sustain her initial popularity.

Bronson followed Peter Pan with the role of the endearing teenage heroine in Are Parents People? (1925). Some of Hollywood's brightest up-and-comers appeared in her subsequent films, which included Ritzy (1927), with Gary Cooper, The Singing Fool (1928) with Al Jolson (whom she found difficult to work with), and The Medicine Man (1930) with Jack Benny in his screen debut. In 1932, Bronson married bond specialist Ludwig Lauerhaus and settled in Asheville, North Carolina, where she wrote a column for the local paper ("Peeping Pixie"), before attempting a comeback in the 1937 Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge with Gene Autry. Most of her subsequent appearances were on television,

including episodes of Dr. Kildare, My Three Sons, and Marcus Welby, M.D. In 1969, when Eastman House unearthed a print of Peter Pan, they invited Bronson to a showing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she was warmly received by ecstatic film buffs. She died two years later, in 1971.

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Bronson, Betty (1906–1971)

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